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UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on May 6

Wed 6th May, 2020 7:57am
(Adds futures, news items)
    May 6(Reuters) - Britain's FTSE 100  .FTSE  index is seen opening higher on
Wednesday, with futures  FFIc1  up 0.08% ahead of cash market open. 
    
    * ITV: ITV  ITV.L , Britain's biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster,
said COVID-19 had sent its advertising revenue down 42% last month, and an
uncertain outlook meant it could not give guidance for the rest of the year.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2CO1WY
    * ASTRAZENECA: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved AstraZeneca
Plc's AZN.L diabetes drug to reduce the risk of cardiovascular death and
hospitalisation for heart failure in certain patients, the drugmaker said.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2CO10S
    * DIRECT LINE: Direct Line Insurance Group Plc  DLGD.L  reported a 70% drop
in motor insurance claims for April, as people stayed at home and drove less due
to a nationwide lockdown in the UK to contain the spread of the coronavirus
outbreak. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2CO110
    * VIRGIN MONEY: Virgin Money  VMUK.L  swung to a first-half loss after
setting aside 237 million pounds ($294.7 million) to handle loans likely to turn
sour as a result of the coronavirus crisis.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2CO1RR
    * JD SPORTS: Britain's competition watchdog made good on its threat to block
sportswear retailer JD Sports'  JD.L  takeover of smaller rival Footasylum,
saying it would leave shoppers worse off and requiring JD to sell the
chain. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2CO11H
    * OCADO: British online supermarket and technology company Ocado  OCDO.L 
said retail revenue soared 40.4% year-on-year in its second quarter so far as
shoppers in coronavirus lockdown sought deliveries to avoid venturing out.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nFWN2CN14F
    * METRO BANK: Britain's Metro Bank  MTRO.L  reported a modest dip in lending
in the first quarter and a 77 million pounds rise in total deposits to 14.6
billion pounds ($18.15 billion) as customers shrugged off lower fixed term
deposit rates. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nFWN2CN126
    * NATIONAL EXPRESS: British transport firm National Express Group  NEX.L 
said it plans to raise equity of around 20% of its issued capital to shore up
its balance sheet as it secured debt waivers through 2020 to help its business
during the COVID-19 pandemic.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2CO12J
    * HAMMERSON: Hammerson  HMSO.L  said private-equity firm Orion was not
planning to buy the British shopping centre operator's seven retail
parks. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2CO12C
    * SMITH+NEPHEW: British medical products maker Smith+Nephew  SN.L  said
sales in April nearly halved as more patients postponed elective surgeries, such
as hip replacements, due to coronavirus-driven lockdowns. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2CO0ZR
    * RETAIL PRICE INDEX: Britain's statistics office said coronavirus-related
changes to the way it calculates the Retail Price Index, which underpins
payments on the country's inflation-linked government bonds, will not require
government approval.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL9N2C300V
    * TRADE TALKS: The United States and Britain launched formal negotiations on
a free trade agreement on Tuesday, vowing to work quickly to seal a deal that
could counter the massive drag of the coronavirus pandemic on trade flows and
the two allies' economies.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2CN0XO
    * HSBC: HSBC Holdings  HSBA.L  has filed an application to the Singapore
High Court to place Zenrock Commodities Trading Pte Ltd under judicial
management, three people familiar with the matter said.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2CO0FD
    * OIL: Oil prices fell, ending a multi-day streak of gains, as investors
focused on oversupply risks after U.S. crude inventories rose more than expected
amid a slump in demand caused by restrictions to halt the coronavirus
spread. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2CN3T9 O/R 
    * GOLD: Gold prices slipped as the gradual easing of some coronavirus-led
restrictions by several nations raised prospects of more global economic
activity, denting demand for the safe-haven metal.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2CO0GC GOL/ 
    * METALS:  London copper prices rose to their highest in nearly a week on
Wednesday, amid hopes of better demand as countries start to ease
coronavirus-induced restrictions.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2CO0HP MET/L 
    * A surge in big oil companies boosted Britain's FTSE 100 on Tuesday, with
investors counting on a revival in economic activity as several countries
emerged from coronavirus lockdowns. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2CN129

    * For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on:
 LIVE/     
    TODAY'S UK PAPERS
    > Financial Times                       PRESS/FT 
    > Other business headlines              PRESS/GB 

 (Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)
 ((shanima.a@thomsonreuters.com; Direct: +91 7760347399;))

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